Robert Wilson

Robert Wilson at his installation
Robert Wilson at his installation "Yes There No Where" in the Marienburgpark in Monheim am Rhein © Niclas Weber

“Yes There No Where”, 2023
Sculptures, Sound Wells, Chimes
Marienburg Park

The installation "Yes There No Where" will stay in Monheim am Rhein after The Sound. It will remain as a permanent installation.

Video: Robert Wilson – Visit to Monheim am Rhein

A unique, mesmerizing installation by the internationally renowned artist Robert Wilson unfolds in the park of the historic Marienburg in Monheim am Rhein. Wilson is considered a leading representative of avantgarde contemporary theatre and at the same time regularly crossing interdisciplinary boundaries in museums, theatres, and opera houses around the world by combining installation, light design and sound under his direction. For his venue at The Sound – Sonic Art in Public Places, he has developed a perfectly fitting work.

The romantic-looking park is enhanced by a fairytale-like setting consisting sculptures of a girl and a goose, a small wooden house and three sound wells. From the wells we can hear texts written for the installation by the acclaimed poet Ulla Hahn, a Monheim native, that are recited by herself and supported by children’s voices.

As you approach the small house, you can also hear a piece of music composed for Wilson’s work by the American “Freak-Folk”-duo CocoRosie. When you look through the window, you finally become aware of a larger-than-life goose, the sheer size of which seems to have outgrown the house. The two figures – girl and goose – a familiar sight in Monheim, for they are closely connected with the history of the town. Wilson took the young “Gänseliesel”, immortalized in Monheim’s coat of arms, as a starting point. Wilson now brushes this legend against the grain and unfolds a new humorous narration, for in his work scales are reversed. The animal towers over the girl by far and doesn’t look like letting anyone tell it what to do.

The goose impressively embodies the awareness that the omnipresence of sound cannot be denied, and that the girl may even be attracted to it. With this work, Wilson wants to appeal to all ages and invite them into the park. However, if you want to look inside the little house as an adult, you must bend down. In this way, the artist entices the viewer to take on the childlike perspective and be transported from the real place “Yes There” to “No Where”.

Concept: Robert Wilson / Text and voice: Ulla Hahn / Music: CocoRosie / Design: Stephanie Engeln / Sound design: Dario Felli / Chime Construction: Gerhard Kern / Lighting: Marcello Lumaca / Production: Arnold Company


Robert Wilson founded the New York performance collective “The Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds” in the mid-1960s and developed his own first works, including “Deafman Glance” (1970) and “A Letter for Queen Victoria” (1974-1975). With Philip Glass, he wrote the groundbreaking opera “Einstein on the Beach” (1976). Wilson’s artistic collaborators include numerous writers and musicians such as Heiner Müller, Tom Waits, Susan Sontag, Laurie Anderson, William Burroughs, and Lou Reed.

Wilson’s works have been presented in solo and group exhibitions worldwide, and his visual art works are in private collections and museums around the world. Wilson has been honored with numerous awards for excellence, including a Pulitzer Prize nomination, two Premio Ubu awards, the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale, among others. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Academy of Arts and received eight honorary doctorates. France appointed him Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters (2003) and Officer of the Legion of Honour (2014); Germany awarded him the Federal Cross of Merit (2014). Wilson is the founder and artistic director of the Watermill Center in Water Mill, New York.

Artist website

Installation "Yes There No Where" by Robert Wilson in the Marienburgpark in Monheim am Rhein © Niclas Weber